May 10, 2020 by Jill Loftis
One of the interesting features of the “new normal” is that some of us have more time on our hands. Some of us do not, that is certain. People with younger children, I so feel for you. Those of you with “essential” jobs, I know you are in survival mode. Some of us have had to shift gears so quickly that those extra moments are swept up in trying to figure out how to manage it all.
I get it.
But one of the things I would encourage you to try to do during this time period is read. Like actually sit down and read a book. It is so easy to find distractions and fall into worry. I know I have been sucked into my phone and computer like no other time in my life. Spending hours on Zoom and Loom and Facebook and YouTube and Instagram. Answering emails, ordering groceries, scanning the headlines. Hours and hours and hours.
You get it.
But another interesting feature of this time period has been that we are all examining our lives. How we spend our time. How we allot our resources. I know I have.
So, where to dig further into your spiritual search? Into the deeper teachings of yoga or even just a better explanation of yoga poses? How to nurture any interests in esoteric studies or knowledge? I have some wonderful books I highly recommend, here is a short list of my favorites. Email me for my complete list!
Feng Shui Your Life
by Jayme Barratt
This book may have pretty pictures, but it is not just about re-arranging your furniture, painting your kitchen, or buying a Buddha statute. It is a book that can give you specific objectives and concrete ways to make inner and outer shifts that will improve your life. The pictures are pretty – but most of us aren’t living that Pottery Barn existence. But with the life you have, you can still use this book to help organize, clean up, clear out and straighten out both your inner and outer self. It is worth it for the “pink light” meditation alone.
The Yamas and Niyamas
by Deborah Adele
Lots of yoga students are unaware that the yoga poses (asana) are not considered the essential starting point to the practice of yoga. The classic study of yoga begins with the Yamas and Niyamas, the “don’t’s” and “do’s” that create the moral framework for the practice. This modern take weaves in personal stories and useful examples that are suitable for absolutely anyone, no yoga experience necessary. Only the desire to become a better human being.
The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings
by Brigit Esselmont of Biddy Tarot.
Tarotcurious? These somewhat mysterious cards have become more and more popular and for good reason. They speak the language of archetypes and symbols in a way that is fun and accessible for everyone. Choose any deck of cards that speak to you, and then get this incredible resource. Tarot is a wonderful way to connect to your inner guidance and awaken to the magic of synchronicity in your life.
The Spiritual Science of Kriya Yoga
Complete disclosure here, Kriyanandaji is my spiritual teacher; just the sound of his voice puts me in my happy place. This is the book to choose when you are ready to look beyond yoga as a physical practice. Ready to embrace the entire eight-limb system? Start here. Brilliant chapters on the Yamas and Niyamas (the moral codes of yoga); great information on pranayama and meditation; get past the initial chapters on cleansing and you’ll be on your way.
by Rosita Arvigo
One of my absolute favorites, this the incredible true story of an American naturopath who goes to live and study with the very last living Mayan healer in Belize. A clear reminder of all we have lost in terms of native culture and practices, as well as hope for the future, the story of Don Elijo Panti told through the eyes of Rosita as well as her journey of learning will inspire you.
by Paulo Coehlo
This modern classic is a best-selling book the world over for a reason. A short, easy read that will have you reaching for your pen over and over to highlight sentences as you ponder the depth of the story of a shepherd and his search for treasure. Perfect for anyone who is approaching the spiritual path, making hard choices and trying to understand how the Universe communicates through symbols, dreams and synchronicities.
Happy, Healthy, Sexy; Ayurveda Wisdom for Modern Women
by Katie Silcox
Full disclosure, Katie is a friend of mine. But I’m not recommending her book because she is my friend; I’m recommending it because it is jam-packed with goodness. Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga and is often sorely neglected in the West. Katie breaks it down into fun, interesting bits of wisdom and talks real about everything from diet and lifestyle to sex and digestion. A great reference that includes practical advice like your best girlfriend would give you, as well as real-world application of these methods for health, recipes, resources and more.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma
by Michael Pollan
Because eating these days is complicated. Mr. Pollan cuts through the confusion; or adds to it, depending on your point of view. But seriously; if you’ve not devoted some time to thinking about what you eat and/or where it came from – it’s time. This book will help you to make wise choices about your food and where you source your food – and these important choices are becoming more and more relevant every day.
Moving Toward Balance, Eight Weeks of Yoga with Rodney Yee
by Rodney Yee with Nina Zolotow
Okay, you’re looking for a yoga book – about poses (asana); something that will show you “how to,” give you sequences; help you to develop a home practice. This is my favorite go-to book. Beautiful, detailed photographs; each pose has three variations, depending on your level of expertise, and uses props when needed; and then, of course, there is the beautiful Rodney Yee. His alignment is perfect, and he’s a gorgeous man. Win, win.
by Steve Ross
Steve Ross is my original guru; I discovered yoga through Steve Ross on the Oxygen network, with his 6:00 am class called “Inhale.” Sitting on the couch, half-asleep, nursing a baby. Looking at beautiful, happy, flexible people. One day I taped the show; got my butt off the couch; and it completely changed my life. His book is easy to read; accessible; and very easy to skip around as you choose what interests you and pass over what doesn’t yet click with your mind. Light read, fun stories; and plenty of things that will make you think.
The Essential Edgar Cayce
by Mark Thurston, Ph.D
If you at all connect to Jesus Christ, you will be fascinated by the psychic readings of Edgar Cayce. This book gives the basic concepts of the nature of reality, keys to health and healing, and some insights to mystic Christianity as given through the readings of Edgar Cayce. A great launching point into the Cayce material that will lead you into a deeper understanding.